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Forums / PTSD & Trauma / Worst year of my life

Topic: Worst year of my life

5 posts, 0 answered
  1. Collie5023
    Collie5023 avatar
    1 posts
    13 December 2020

    This has been the worst year of my life. I left an abusive marriage early in the year, lost most of my so-called friends as they didn't believe me, and felt that as I had not been hit, then it didn't count. as abuse I left with little more than the clothes on my back, moving states, leaving my beautiful pets. I returned to where my adult kids are, had to find a job and somewhere to live, after being retired/carer for 10 years...and then Covid hit. I couldn't get the face-to-face counselling I needed, the human contact I craved, hugs, and many times I spent hours in the phone or online chat to Lifeline, crying for hours. Apart from my mental health, my physical health suffered greatly - I have collapsed and been hospitalised several times, with everything inevitably put down to stress (which is obviously "better" than it being heart condition or worse!)

    I managed to get phone counselling, but although it was good, for me at my age (60) I prefer face-to-face. After 10 sessions, I was told I still needed much more, and advised to see GP for mental health plan. For many reasons this has failed (not the least of which is being told if I didn't take the first appt they offered, then obviously my situation "wasn't that serious."

    I stupidly seek out photos of ex (Facebook etc) which then leads to me spiralling quickly into panic attacks, anxiety etc. He looks so happy. He moved on 5 weeks after I left him. I have nightmares about thinking he's going to kill me, or my family. My logical side knows this man is evil, he is a narcissist who screwed seriously with my self-esteem and mental health, and I am safer not to be near him. But my lonely side misses having someone around, even if I was scared of that person.

    Fast forward to recently finding a family member semi-conscious following a serious suicide attempt - I have had to compartmentalise the pain of this, in order to focus on helping her. I am scared of what she might do, scared of losing her, scared of saying the wrong thing, scared that I was part of her reasons for self-harm. I put on a brave face around people but underneath, my brain is screaming that I can't take any more. This time of year is full of horrible memories of violence from ex husband last year...I have a lovely kind man in my life recently, who treats me with such respect, but I worry that nobody will ever love me if I can't love myself. At the age of 60...

  2. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    6618 posts
    13 December 2020 in reply to Collie5023
    Hey Collie, thanks for joining us here on the Beyond Blue forum. We know it takes a lot of strength to reach out and retell these difficult moments of your life, so thank you for doing so. It sounds as though this year has been very hard for you and we can understand why. The stress of a pandemic, leaving an abusive marriage, having to move states, find a new house and leave your beloved pets would have been devastating. It sounds like life continues to be very overwhelming and we'd like to suggest a few services that might help you manage the stressors you are currently facing. 

    If you are concerned about your safety due to your ex-husband's history we'd recommend getting in contact with 1800Respect. They offer confidential information, counselling and support 24/7 for people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse. The lovely supportive counsellors have a lot of experience offering advice to people in your situation. You can contact them on 1800 737 732 or https://www.1800respect.org.au/ They also have a number of useful articles listed on their website such as "Safety planning".

    We acknowledge how painful it must have been to witness a suicide attempt from a family member. We'd recommend you talk your experience through with our Support Service, our mental health counsellors can offer some support, information and referrals: www.beyondblue.org.au/getsupport or 1300 22 4636. 

    We hope you find this community to be a supportive and helpful one Collie. Please feel free to update us on your thread whenever you feel ready. 
     
  3. Summer Rose
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Summer Rose avatar
    1726 posts
    13 December 2020 in reply to Collie5023

    Hi Collie

    Welcome to bb and thank you for sharing your story, which was both sad and inspiring. As I was reading your words, I couldn't help thinking about what an amazing and strong woman you are.

    You are clealy a brave problem solver and very capable. I hear you, it hasn't been easy, and I'm so sorry for your struggles. But never forget that you have persevered and overcome so much.

    With a "full bucket", it's not surprising to me that your unexpected and important caring role is testing your limits. It's okay to want to scream. I would too.

    I really want to encourage you to do something nice for yourself each day. Take at least half an hour for you, and hopefully you will find some joy to balance out the pain.

    Try to stick to a healthy diet and ensure you get plenty of sleep. Take opportunities to connect with nature--walk on the beach or through the forest, watch the stars or get your hands dirty in the garden--it will help.

    You have to put your oxygen mask on first, then care for your family member. One step at a time and you will get through the holiday season.

    Kind thoughts to you

    3 people found this helpful
  4. Ember25
    Ember25 avatar
    2 posts
    1 January 2021 in reply to Collie5023

    Hi Collie,
    I hear you...worst year ever...and I laugh alongside everyone else who says the same thing but inside I am terrified that this year will not be any better. Like you, I finally left my emotionally abusive husband of 20 years. I bought a house by myself and got myself moved in and set up...that was mid-November, so yes, year from hell. A work colleague recently pointed out to me that I had come so far from where I had been a year ago (still in the midst of the abuse, physical and emotional). She is right, I am in a better place but it is still incredibly hard to find happiness and motivation to keep moving forward with a life I never wanted. Collie, I think maybe you have felt the same - but you can't lose sight of what you have achieved and your strength. But its also OK to say it is not fair and you deserve better than the life you have had so far. You have been so strong to walk away and start again and you did that all by yourself - so putting your hand up and saying its hard is not a failing - but maybe also recognise that you walked away because you know you do deserve love. You loved yourself enough to save yourself and you deserve all the good things you can get. The abuse was your husbands failing, not yours.
    For me - abuse aside, I did love my husband, I loved our life - we have two kids and I loved just being a wife and mum. My 11 year old son chose to live with Dad and now ignores me almost every time I contact him. My 7 year old daughter is sullen and argumentative because I am not the fun one. I am the parent who makes her brush her teeth and go to bed on time and she hates me for it. My christmas gift from my ex was for him to ring my parents and tell them I hate them, that all I am talking to them for is the inheritance and that I am the abusive one. Its just plain crazy and confirms that I did the right thing. Nevertheless I am left wondering how I could have been so stupid to stay with him and keep trying to work things out but I also wonder what I did to deserve this life. Why did I fall in love with and dedicate my life to someone who, as it turns out, obviously never loved me. On one level I know I am a decent person who didn't deserve this, but it doesn't make me feel any better about the situation.
    Hang in there Collie, it will get better. That's one thing about it being so awful...things can only get better and maybe this new fellow is the start of it. Enjoy it, you deserve it.

  5. pansy2021
    pansy2021 avatar
    2 posts
    1 January 2021 in reply to Collie5023

    Hi Collie,

    I can really relate to your horror year. I too have left a marriage that was emotionally, verbally,

    and financial abusive.

    This is my 3rd year out and went through hell trying to save the house and have somewhere to live. Its cost me over 10,000 in lawyer fees to reach where I am and very very lobbying by the loans person at the bank to finance me.

    I lost my father during this time as well. Not sure If I have fully grieved his death due to trying to ungrapple myself from this man.

    I too have lost all friends, except for 1 and work collegues.

    I have decided not to engage in Facebook at the moment . I have removed the app and Im wondering if you could too?

    It messes with my head , seeing happy families ,holidays etc. Its not that I am not happy for them, I just need to move on with my life. I feel looking at the past will keep me there.

    I am indeed lonely , especially Christmas and New Years. I did not want this life . I loved also being a wife and mother. He screwed it . Not me and not you !

    My children are growing up and do not need me as much so its easy to reflect of the past at times.

    I see a ray of sunshine in your post. You say you have met a lovely kind person. How wonderful!!

    I too have met the love of my life.... He works away so I miss him dearly.

    He is the start of my life back to normality, as we should have been treated in the first place.

    You can love yourself. Its not your fault. You are so brave . I look back to where I was Jan 2018.

    Not any money, car repossesed, life as I knew it crumbling. But I know deep in my heart I am

    in a better place. Mentally sometimes no, like today. But just getting this out and talking has helped.

    I hope you will slowly step by step love yourself , because you are amazing !!!

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